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Tom Johnstone rides across Iceland’s interior and learns that making your dreams come true isn’t always easy.

This was an adventure I’d dreamed about for years – 15 to be exact. Every winter since I was 18 I’ve said ‘next summer I’m going to ride my bike across Iceland’. Every year there was a reason why ‘this summer’ couldn’t be the one. This year there was no reason not to go, so the flights were booked, sponsorship deals secured, and a rough plan hatched. I knew this trip would be tough, but it wasn’t the long days in, or worse, out of the saddle, the washboard gravel, or the potential for bad weather that worried me. This time I knew I would either be my own worst enemy or my own saviour when things got tough.

Winds of change.

The last few years have put many dificulties in my path. While I’ve been growing my mountain bike guiding business and freelancing, life has been throwing curve balls of monstrous proportions at me. In 2010 I met my wife to be, in 2012 we were married, in 2013 she was diagnosed with cancer, and in 2014 we were told it was terminal. September 2016 saw Catherine’s prognosis come true and she died with her mum and me holding her hands. She was 40. I went from running a business so I could help keep a roof over our heads to having no one to fend for but myself and, suddenly, the ‘freedom’ to do what

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About Singletrack

Editorial: Chipps wonders what comes after the corner after the next corner. International Adventure: Soviet Singletrack: With military restrictions lifted, singletrack trails are waiting to be discovered on the very fringes of Russia. Column: A Glamorous Job: Jason Miles reveals that riding your bike a lot doesn’t necessarily make you healthy. UK Adventure: West Is Best: Pete Scullion goes wild camping on Scotland’s west coast, in the depths of winter. Bike Test: One Click Ponies: James Vincent tests out three bikes from Bird, Intense and Sonder - available to you at the click of a mouse. UK Adventure: Trail Hunter - Peaky Blinder: Tom Fenton seeks out some of the Peak District’s lesser known trails in the White Peak. Group Test: Packing Light: Antony de Heveningham checks out frame, hip and back packs in search of a bag that carries just enough for those local rides. Interview: Staying Ahead, Being Last: Rachel Sokal chats to Olympian and British Champion Annie Last about staying motivated, and cake. International Adventure: Finding Perspective In Lesotho Kristi Stump ponders the gap between her own challenges and those of the people she encounters during the Lesotho Sky stage race Column: Seduced By The TV Remote: Steve Longdon misses the days when we used to ride up hills under our own power and peel our own oranges. Wait, what? International Adventure: Internal Struggle Tom Johnstone nally makes the trip of a lifetime through Iceland’s remote interior. International Adventure: No Mercy In The Mountains Chipps takes a rather taxing holiday in the Pyrenees. Perhaps a change isn’t always as good as a rest… Last Word Barney Marsh admits he’s not getting any younger or fitter. At least he can do something about one of them.